Ten Common HVAC Terminologies

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Ten Common HVAC Terminologies


We often use an air conditioner, furnace or a humidifier but sadly, we do not know much about them at a technical and mechanical level. Until now, your HVAC system may still be a mystery to you. Today, let us discover the meaning of common HVAC terms that may sound unfamiliar to you.

  1. SEER

Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) measures the efficiency of your air conditioning unit. The minimum SEER rating for a cooling system is 13. Anything that’s higher than this number means that your air conditioner is more energy efficient. A/C units with higher SEER offer greater energy savings.

  1. MERV

Minimum Efficiency Rating Value (MERV) determines the efficiency of an air filter for your system. Filters with a rating of 16 are considered the most efficient air filter that can trap even the smallest air particle.

  1. Split System HVAC

Some may still be puzzled by the differences between a ductless and a split HVAC system. What they do not know is that the two are the same. Generally, a split HVAC system consists of three main components including the thermostat, indoor unit and outdoor unit (condenser).

  1. BTU (British Thermal Unit)

BTU measures the heat required to increase the temperature of your heating or cooling system of 1 pound of water by a degree Fahrenheit. HVAC Systems with higher BTU have greater capacity.

  1. Compressor

It’s one of the essential parts of the condenser (outdoor) unit where the noise of your air conditioner comes from. The compressor circulates and increases the pressure of the refrigerant in your heating or cooling system.

  1. Cooling Capacity

Your air conditioning system is rated based on its cooling capacity or its ability to eliminate heat from a bounded space. Your A/C’s cooling capacity is measured by either tons or BTU’s.

  1. Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER)

If you see an EER symbol on your air conditioner, it describes the unit’s cooling efficiency. EER is measured by getting the BTUs per hour of your cooling system. The result is divided by the total amount of electrical energy consumed.

  1. Heat Pump

A heat pump is a typical HVAC unit responsible for heating or cooling an entire space by moving heat based on the season. Say for instance, during summer, it eliminates heat from the inside and releases it outside your home.

  1. Air Handler

The air handler is a part of your indoor unit which circulates the air through the ductwork.  It’s the box containing the blower, evaporator coils, and other cooling or heating components.

  1. Line Set

The two lines located in the refrigerant connecting the condenser and the evaporator coil is the line set. The insulated tube (large) is called the suction line while the copper tube (small) is the liquid line.

Does your HVAC system speak a foreign language? No worries! South Eastern Comfort, LLC is here to help you get a good grasp of your heating and cooling system. Call us today for your questions and concerns.